As much as you love to see an earthworm in your garden, excited that your soil is getting enough air, spotting one in your house does not elicit the same feeling. It could not even be an earthworm; sometimes, you will find millipedes and centipedes crawling on the surfaces. As you wonder how they got in and how to get rid of them, the best way to get a lasting solution is to learn how worms get inside your house. Here’s a detailed guide to avoiding worm infestation.
Why Worms Get in the House
Northwest explains that millipedes are often found in damp areas like in compost, flowerbeds, mulch, under stones or leaves. You can also easily find some near the foundation, as they search for decaying materials to feed on, but as the article informs us, they do not bite. When the weather is favorable, millipedes and centipedes do not mind the outdoor environment. However, once it rains excessively or there is a drought, the environment is no longer conducive. Therefore, they search for a better place, such as in your house. Moist soil is conducive because oxygen can easily diffuse through the soil particles, allowing the worms to breathe. Unfortunately, after heavy rains, the excess moisture causes the soil pores to fill up with water. As a result, the soil is less aerated. Without enough oxygen beneath, worms burrow their way to the surface to breathe better. Earthworms rarely get in the house because they prefer moist soil. However, during heavy rains, they will look for a much drier place. Still, even if they enter your house, they will be drawn to moist areas such as the bathroom. If the environment is not damp enough, they die; earthworms breathe through their skins, which must be moist, for better respiration.
How Worms Enter the House
According to Hunker, most worms live in the soil. Therefore, they enter the house through the basement or foundation. Homeowners are therefore advised to ensure that their basements are finished to prevent the entry of such pests. The cracks and crevices in the foundation, plumbing, and wiring also provide a great avenue for worms to access your house. The expansion joints along basement walls, in sidewalks next to the foundation, in sunrooms and patios are great entry points. The door could also be a way through which worms come into the house. Even if you close the door, there could be some space between the door and the floor, giving the worms enough room to wiggle their way into the warmth of your home. Once you find any of these entry points, the next step is to eliminate the worms already in the house as you also ensure none other will enter.
How to Get Rid of Worms in the House
Some sources recommend spraying pesticides around the perimeter of your house, focusing on the basement area, foundation area, and doorways. However, NC State Extension published that pesticides are a short-term solution. Unless you get rid of whatever attracts the worms into the house, you will continue spraying pesticides which is why you need a long-term solution. The ideal long-term solution to getting rid of worms is eliminating the access points and making your home inhabitable. According to the article, you should get rid of debris since it is the most conducive habitat for worms. Clean the gutter and install gutter guards to prevent clogs. After cleaning, ensure that the gutter, splash blocks, and downspouts divert the water away from the foundation. If you must have mulch around the foundation, keep it at least six inches away from the wall. Also, the best mulch should contain gravel to facilitate drainage. Since the survival of worms inside the house largely depends on how moist your home is, keep the house less humid. Besides using a dehumidifier, you should repair leaks and ensure the house is well ventilated. You can go the extra step of coating the pipes and drains with petroleum jelly so that worms will have a hard time getting into your house. Thoroughly cleaning your home removes the insects that worms consume, and ordinary household cleaning products will do the trick. Premend advises that scrubbing the drainage and tub clean keeps those areas free from larvae and worms. Maintain a weekly routine of cleaning using bleach, vinegar, baking soda, or borax to remove any eggs that may have been left been laid or worms that could have entered the house. Remember that there is a lot of grime in the pipes that the worms feed on; therefore, you should not forget them in your weekly routine.
Another Worm You Should Eliminate
Besides earthworms, centipedes, and millipedes, you might have seen crawling worms in the kitchen. According to Colonial Pest, you can differentiate the Indian moth larvae from maggots because while fly maggots do not have legs, the Indian moth larvae do. Thus, you will spot them crawling on ceilings and walls in the kitchen. Indian moths infiltrate the home when you buy food containing their larvae. Since the larvae consume different foods, including packaged products and dried foods, storing food makes you a potential victim of their infestation. They do not inhabit human food alone; even pet food or bird seeds provide ideal environments for breeding. Therefore food has been described as an Indian moth’s Trojan horse. Once in the house, the moth’s lifecycle goes faster because the warm environment enables them to hatch quickly; thus, you might spot a few worms. The ideal way to get rid of the Indian moth larvae is by closely checking what you buy. Any damaged packaging is likely to harbor the eggs; therefore, always go for airtight and well-sealed containers to avoid bringing worms into your house. Should you spot any suspicious food container in your pantry, throw it out immediately. The longer the infestation, the more the food is affected, and you might have to throw away everything in your pantry.